When I was born, my father told my mother that I’m a ‘different’ kid. And as luck would say it, he prophesied true. Science agrees that a child’s first words are generally ‘ma’ or addresses to their mother in whatever little syllables they can push out of that puny mouth. Different me, I chose to say ‘papa’ before any other word.
Over the years, as I grew, he was always there. Always attending my school functions, important parent teacher meets; dropping me to my music lessons at times. Seeing him return from the day’s work used to become the attraction of the day. My brother and I used to race our little feet to the door when we saw him parking the car in our garage. Hurriedly telling him all we did in the day, we almost got into an argument as to who gets to tell him more stories. And almost always, my brother used to get the edge simply because he was younger.
My father has always been fond of tea I make. While it was something which eventually got a little tiresome for me and I tried to get away from doing it in my mid teens; it’s now, when I’m away from home and don’t get to see him every day that I miss mixing that two and a half tea-spoon tea and one tea-spoon sugar in the pot of boiling water. And while he watched me grow, he somehow managed to remain the same. Young at heart and fearless. The subconscious confidence of having him stand like an unshakable pillar behind me kept me striding forward while keeping all unnecessary elements (yes, I’m talking about stalkers) pretty much away.
It’s funny to observe how the role of fathers has changed over the last three-four decades. Fathers today are much more than patriarchy-lover, stern faced men who simply said ‘jaa Simran jaa, jeele apni zindagi’ towards the end and get to play the bigger person. Fathers today choose to keep an equation their kids, and specially their daughters can look up to. So while my father and I share funny and philosophical messages on WhatsApp with equal enthusiasm, we also know that at the end of the day he’s the guardian always keeping an eye on everything that’s happening around me; even if he is a hundred kilometres away.
He’s not just a father, he’s a go-to person, a mentor, a guide, the one who helps me out with my debates, the one who’s the first reader of everything I may write, the one whom I run to when my mother doesn’t listen to me, the one whom I ask for that three thousand rupee dress, the one who melts the moment I shed a tear (a weapon every daughter across the globe knows how to use), the one who’s protected me always, the one who’s the strongest and the one who’s a figure of perfection in my eyes.
And while I’ll definitely get that three thousand bucks worth of dress, he’ll leave behind much more- tonnes of wisdom and all of his soul when he finally leaves.
To all the fathers across the globe, and daughters who cherish this bond they share.
We love you, Papa! Happy Fathers’ Day.
Image credits: www.wilstar.com